Canucks of Tomorrow is assessing every prospect in the Vancouver Canucks system and what they are projecting to be in the future. We’ll be looking at the strengths and weaknesses of their game, as well as what the future holds for them if and when they advance through the Vancouver organization. Today, we feature Jett Woo.
Position: Right-shot defenceman
How Acquired: 2018 2nd-round draft pick, 37th overall.
2021-22 Stats: (GP-G-A-PTS) 42-2-6-8, 35 PIM (Abbotsford in AHL)
Contract Status: One season remaining on a three-year, two-way NHL-AHL deal. It’s actually year four of an entry-level contract that slid forward after the first season when Woo failed to reach NHL games-played requirements. Not uncommon.
Anticipated 2022-23 Team: Abbotsford Canucks
Based on the preseason hype, the media availabilities, and a certain level of expectation, one felt that defenceman Jett Woo might be close to taking the next step last September.
In reality that concept was unreasonable. Woo, a Winnipeg native who played five seasons in the Western Hockey League, was barely 21-years-of-age when training camp started. Since then he’s added a year of experience with 42 solid yet unremarkable games at the American Hockey League level in Abbotsford. He missed 26 games do to injury.
Woo didn’t light up the scoresheet last season, an adjustment from some relatively prolific days in the WHL.
Just like forwards, defencemen must adjust their expectations coming out of juniors, and there were indeed expectations. He was ranked by the the NHL Central Scouting Bureau as high as 28th among skaters in one pre-draft poll in 2018. In 2017 he had represented Canada at the Under-18 Worlds.
This player seeks the consistency that comes with maturity and confidence.
Big picture, the 2021-’22 AHL season was a bit disappointing.
Dave Hall from Dobber’s Prospects summarizes things succinctly.
“By now, it’s clear that his offensive numbers may never fully translate to the pro level, which may have been expected,” Hall wrote about Woo. “However, there is still time to grow his game on the defensive side and make a push as a bottom-pairing NHL contributor.”
Then again, Woo is only 22-years-old and a “recovery” isn’t out of the question. The development scale is a moving target. We’ve quickly forgotten about the impact of the Covid epidemic and the fact that this players has a very limited number of professional games under his belt.
Woo is a sturdy 6-footer, close to 200 pounds. He’s not afraid to get involved physically, he’s committed, and he’s capable of moving the puck.
Let’s cool our jets a bit on Jet Woo and see how he approaches another kick at the can in the fall of 2022. Let’s see if he’s healthy and prepared.
We know added depth, preferably a competition, on the right side of the Vancouver Canucks D-corps is a priority. Woo will look to factor into the mix and will have an opportunity to do so. For now we’d expect him back in Abbotsford.